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Bancroft Elementary students appointed state ambassadors to support flood victims

The record rainfall last week left significant damage at some campuses in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District.

Bancroft Elementary remains closed for major repairs. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond toured the school on Friday, committing his office to securing more state funding to help in the recovery.

“Between flooding and fires, our schools have had to deal with a new normal of disasters that disrupt classes. So everything we can do to prepare is the key," Thurmond said.


Even with rain still falling, workers have torn out much of the water-damaged flooring and dried and disinfected the walls and structures still standing at the Bancroft campus in Spring Valley.

The school’s 450 students and staff members are temporarily holding classes at nearby Spring Valley Academy.

Bancroft’s principal, Nathan Saucedo, leads the support for his students.

"(We are) just making sure everyone on campus feels welcomed and supported ... creating that environment just like we did at Bancroft," Saucedo said.

M.G. Perez
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond greets displaced Bancroft Elementary students who are temporarily attending classes at Spring Valley Academy on Feb. 2, 2024.

District officials said the repairs were moving ahead of schedule at Bancroft.


School supplies and books salvaged from the flood are sealed in heavy plastic for students when they return.

By Monday, 25 classrooms could be ready to have new carpet installed. That, of course, depends on the next round of rain forecast for early next week.

While he was at Spring Valley Academy, Thurmond appointed some of the displaced students as Safe School ambassadors. They will help their classmates deal with upcoming problems and support them through the transition.

“It feels cool to meet someone big and for him to announce me as an ambassador. So I feel proud of myself," said Bellamy Haylock a fifth grader and newly appointed ambassador.

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